Taiwan travelers to Hong Kong cautioned against measles infection

Hong Kong is experiencing a measles outbreak with 23 cases confirmed this year

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(photo courtesy of CDC)

(photo courtesy of CDC)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The health authorities in Taiwan have urged the public to exercise caution when visiting Hong Kong, which has clocked up 26 measles infections this year in what appears to be a new outbreak of the highly contagious disease.

According to the South China Morning Post, the outbreak started early this month, when a flight attendant from Cathay Pacific Airways exhibited such symptoms as a fever and rash.

Efforts are being stepped up to ensure workers at Hong Kong’s airport are vaccinated against measles while stricter infection controls are being implemented, the report said.

The Centre for Health Protection of Hong Kong expressed concern over possible community outbreaks of the airborne disease, while local media questioned the efficiency of the government’s inoculation measures as only 1,600 out of a 100,000 airport staff have been immunized over the past four days, the Liberty Times reported Wednesday.

In addition to Hong Kong and Macau, the Philippines is also seeing a rise in measles cases. As of March 19, the Southeast Asian country has reported 23,000 infections this year, 333 of which were fatal, the Centers for Disease Control of Taiwan warned.